Guy's wonderful TikTok video destroys the myth that women are more talkative than men
via Pexels

Throughout history, women have always been stereotyped as the more talkative gender. People who talk too much are known as Chatty Cathys and there is no male equivalent. Talkative Tim? Spechifying Simon? Mansplaining Marty? They don't exist.

Just consider the famous quotes about women: "A woman's tongue wags like a lamb's tail, never still," and "Many women, many words."

As the stereotypes go, women have been unfairly labeled as gossipers who sit around the proverbial "sewing circle" telling tales out of school.



This stereotype of chatty, gossipy women has rendered their speech to be perceived as frivolous, compared to men whose contrite manner of speaking is seen as virtuous. The old saying he was a "man of few words" is usually seen as a positive trait.

On a deeper level, the devaluing of women's speech due to the belief that they are careless with words means that they're often uncomfortable when speaking up in professional settings.

Psychologist Victoria Brescoll says that "institutional power encourages men but discourages women from talking more, as powerful women fear a backlash that is absent for men when taking on a greater share of the conversational floor."

The assumption that women talk more than men is generally accepted by most people. However, according to research, it isn't true. In fact, it only took artist Abraham Piper from Minneapolis, Minnesota, about a minute to debunk the myth recently on TikTok.

In his video, Piper cites a study by researchers Deborah James and Janice Drakich published in 1993. The meta-analysis revealed that only two of 56 studies found that women talk more than men and that 34 of them said men talk more than women.

Another study by psychologist James Pennebaker fitted men and women in the U.S and Mexico with a device that records 30-second snippets of sound every 12.5 minutes. Pennebaker found that women spoke an average of 16,215 words a day while the men spoke 15,669. A pretty negligible difference.

Piper also points out that a big reason for the recent perpetuation of the myth that it was popularized by a major figure on the Christian right.

"It was first published and popularized by James Dobson. That's right the mega-famous Christian conservative psychologist of Focus on the Family," Piper says.

In Dobson's book "Love for a Lifetime," he incorrectly states that "research tells us" God gives a woman 50,000 words a day, while her husband only gets 25,000.

Dobson then extrapolates that this causes tension in the home because men come home from work and they've used up their entire word budget for the day and their wives are just rearing to go.

Piper notes that Dobson's stat is often cited by well-meaning psychologists who never did their research, "So many people believe it."

The good news is that Piper's video has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people, so maybe it'll work to change public perception.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less